When motorcycle riders are involved in an accident caused by another driver, they have much less protection from the impact of the collision than passenger vehicle occupants. As a result, they tend to suffer much more catastrophic injuries or die. In fact, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die per vehicle mile travelled than passenger vehicle victims and almost five times more likely to be injured in an accident in 2015. Here, we discuss the common reasons these tragic wrecks occur.
Common Reasons Negligent Motorists Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by factors unique to motorcycles. While some crashes are the fault of the motorcycle rider, others are caused by negligent drivers of passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks. Here are 10 common reasons these wrecks happen:
- Visual recognition. Many motorists simply do not see a smaller motorcycle before it is too late to prevent a crash. However, drivers are required to know what vehicles are around them on the road, and a driver’s failure to see a motorcycle could constitute negligence.
- Head-on collision. Drivers who are drowsy, intoxicated, or distracted by their cellphone, eating and drinking, or a GPS can veer into oncoming traffic—right into a motorcyclist.
- Unsafe lane changes. If a driver fails to signal or check his blind spot carefully before changing lanes, he can easily miss seeing a motorcyclist in his blind spot, with deadly consequences to the rider.
- Open car doors. Drivers who open or close their vehicle doors without checking for traffic can smash their door into an oncoming motorcycle, sometimes causing the rider to be thrown into the path of other cars. Because motorcycles are small, they can also be easier to miss if a driver takes a quick look into his mirror before opening the door.
- Left turn. If a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming motorcycle when making a left turn or misjudges the distance and time he has to make his turn, a tragic accident with a motorcyclist can be the result.
- Speeding. A driver who is speeding will have less time to slow down and stop if necessary to avoid hitting a motorcycle rider. In addition, the likelihood that a rider will suffer more serious injuries or death increases significantly if a driver is driving above the posted speed limit.
- Sudden stops. When a motorist drives too close to a motorcycle in front of him, he can cause a rear-end collision if the motorcyclist must slow down or stop suddenly.
- Lane splitting. When a motorcyclist drives between lanes, this is known as lane splitting. It is illegal in Washington, but some motorcycle riders lane split anyway, which may result in a crash.
- Road conditions. Defective road conditions, such as crumbling pavement, potholes, and debris can be especially hazardous for motorcyclists, who could lose control of their motorcycles when trying to dodge these conditions.
- Intoxication. Motorists who are intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use are much less likely to see a motorcycle rider or will make poor judgments that can lead to fatal consequences for the rider.
If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle accident, you need the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to hold the negligent driver responsible for compensating you. Call our office now to schedule a free consultation where we’ll be happy to answer your questions and explain your legal options against the negligent driver and his insurance company.
Category: Motorcyle Accidents
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